Irrigation Upgrade Project

All Club Members have recently received an email with the attachment “Assessment of Benefits of Upgrading the Club’s Irrigation System and Preferred Hardware & Control System.” This document was prepared by our Course Superintendent, Rob Millington, as an investigative and education piece for the Irrigation System Project Upgrade Committee. The Club is looking at undertaking one of the biggest infrastructure projects in its history. So that you can fully understand some of the many and complex issues that are involved, the Board has released this document to all members.  



Stormwater Distribution

This month we look at “how The Vines distributes its storm water” over the summer months. The Distribution system is made up of 3 elements – Pumps, underground pipes and sprinklers. Our Pumps are housed on the LHS of the 6th carry next to the dam wall. We have 3 pumps and over the years they have been continually upgraded to their current high specifications, and have the capacity to handle any new watering system that we may install. We currently only use 2 of the pumps at a time and it takes about 17 hours to water the whole course. We estimate that a new watering system will be capable of completing the job in about 7 hours.



Saving On Electricity

This will achieve a considerable electricity saving and add to the flexibility of the watering window. Our mainline pipes and sprinkler feeder pipes have reached their use by date and are continually requiring repairs. Their smaller diameter size is not big enough to handle the increased flow required to service a new sprinkler system. We can’t just install new sprinkler heads. They just won’t work. Unfortunately all underground pipes will need to be replaced. This is a major contributing factor to the cost of the project.



Current Water Wastage

Our Current Sprinkler Heads, have done a good job over the years, having replaced a very ordinary manual watering system, are now old, worn out, unreliable and very inefficient. It is estimated that we waste 1 in every 2 litres of water we harvest. Set up in blocks of up to 8 heads, with spacing of 18 x 20 metres between, the throw of water from each head is to a maximum of 18 metres – so it does not matter how long you run them, they just do not cover the area evenly. This causes a very patchy result.




How to Donate


To donate to the Vines Irrigation Upgrade Project click on the link below

Vines Upgrade Project


Sprinkler Efficiency

Just think of the 5th fairway with brown spots everywhere and the 7th fairway turns a crunchy brown whenever it gets a bit warm. Their coverage efficiency is estimated to be only up to a maximum of 65%. Any new system is expected to be in the 90+% range.


New Terminology

Some terms you will hear regularly in the discussion about a new watering system:

Hard Edge Irrigation is the layout of sprinkler heads on a fairway in 3 rows, spaced at 18 x 18 metres, where the 2 outside edge rows only water in a 180 degree arc toward the centre row. In other words you do not water the trees.


This is a common practice on many golf courses, for example Royal Adelaide.  The experts say this practice alone will give a water saving of 26%.

Water Usage

Our water use over the past 10 years averages 104 megalitres, so we can expect a saving of about 27 megalitres. This is the equivalent of building another Turkey’s Nest dam, without the estimated cost of $500k.

Hard Edge System

This configuration will cover a fairway up to 36 metres wide, enough for all our fairways except for first sections of the 5th and 18th. For these sections one of the solutions is to go to 4 rows.

Back to Back Irrigation is the practice of having 2 sets of sprinklers around each green. The inner circle does the green and outer the surrounds.

Greens require less water than the surrounds, so each set will require different run times. The result is a further saving in water use, with firmer healthier greens.

Valve In Head Sprinklers

Valve In Head Sprinklers have a chip in each head that the operating system recognises. This allows for each individual sprinkler to be allocated its own run time, giving maximum control over the amount of water that is used in any area. This gives the ability to allow for the various conditions that are across the whole course. This also enables the control system to recognise a problem with an individual sprinkler. The current situation is we u sually find out that a sprinkler is not working when the grass turns brown.



Contact Us

If  you would like to call us:
Office: (08) 8381 1822    Pro Shop: (08) 8381 3300

If  you would like to write to us:
The Vines Golf Club of Reynella SA Inc
PO Box 243 HAPPY VALLEY   SA  5159

If  you would like to visit us:
We are right at the East end of Reynell Road:
Cnr Reynell and Pine Roads HAPPY VALLEY  SA  5159  (or Cnr Reynell Road & Mark Street, Happy Valley)

Or fill out the form below to send us an email: